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Archive for May, 2008

    The Council will renew its consideration of an ordinance to penalize parents, owners and those in charge of any premises where minors possess or consume alcohol or drugs.  The ordinance would apply to situations when two or more minors are present and in possession of controlled substances or beverages containing more than 1% alcohol by weight.

    The penalty may range from an administrative citation, community service, counseling, classes, or up to a $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail. The City Attorney would have discretion to adjust the penalty based on a number of unquantified factors – such as number of minors involved, ages, source of alcohol or drugs, and ability to pay the fine.

    Exceptions from the ordinance are made for gatherings with constitutionally protected religious activities. An exception also exists where imbibing or use of controlled substances is strictly between parents and their children.  The ordinance also does not penalize parents if drinking or drug use by minors is in their parents’ cars offsite from the parents’ home or private property.

    Anyone cited by the City Attorney may schedule a meeting with the City Manager, who may act as an appellate officer and adjust or dismiss any charges.  The City Manager’s decision may be appealed to the City Council, which may then act similar to a judicial panel.

    The proposed ordinance was initiated by Mayor Trish Kelley.  The resolution describes such gatherings as a “serious” problem, but the proposal failed to garner significant public support at the last council meeting. An OC Register straw poll has received 72% favorable response, however, to the principle of fining parents if teens are allowed to party at home with alcohol. 

    The Mayor scheduled next Monday’s 6 p.m. meeting at the Norm Murray Center in conjunction with a separate function of Capo High School students. She will make numerous awards and presentations to Capo District students and schools during the council meeting, and perhaps she will stimulate support for the ordinance from some of the students.  

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    The FBI released  photos  today of the robber who hit the Bank of America inside Albertsons on Muirlands.  The stick-up occurred last Friday about 4 p.m.

    The perpetrator is also wanted for robbing a Union Bank in Orange and a Cal National Bank in Orange, both last February.  He has been dubbed the Village People Bandit because he wears different hats and wardrobe at each event.

    He is described as 5’9″ and 200 lbs. in late 30’s to 40’s.  He had short black hair, razor stubble and yes, bad breath

    After approaching the teller he used a low voice saying, “This is a robbery, give me all your large bills.”  He also threatened to use a weapon although none was seen. 

    He might have been driving a black Chevy Tahoe for one robbery.

   

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    Fran  Crippen,  of  the Mission  Viejo Nadadores Swim Team, today won the 5K National Open Water Championship in Fort Meyers, Florida.  It was his first win in the event.  He finished in 55 minutes, 54.5 seconds, pulling away in the second half of the race to outpace the field by 26 seconds.

    Crippen had to fight the waves and current of the Gulf of Mexico.  The water temperature was a comfortable 80 degrees, however.  

    Fran won the silver medal for the U.S. in the Pan Pacific Championships in 2006, and in 2007 he took home the gold medal for the 10k event in Rio, Brazil. 

    He is aiming to compete in the Bejing Olympics in the 400 or 1500 freestyle.

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    On Monday the Capo School Trustees will consider rehiring all District teachers who were pink-slipped after previous budget hearings.  The Board of Trustees will also look at preserving the 20:1 classroom ratio for grades 1-3 and maintaining classroom sizes for other grades.

    The sudden reversal of plans from Superintendent Carter is based on a risky evaluation of revised funding numbers coming out of Sacramento.  The numbers changed after Schwarzenegger decided to bet on the lottery instead of suspending Prop 98 funding. The new projections could mean $8 million more than expected for Capo just last month, but the figures have not yet been approved by legislators and the Governor.  

    The possible improvements are also based in part on money raised by the Capo foundation, a volunteer fundraising arm of the District.  To date $700,000 has been raised to save classroom sizes.  Another $300,000 from the Foundation will be necessary to fund the optimism in Carter’s revised plan.

    The District will still be left with a $20 million deficit compared to full funding under Prop 98; and Carter’s proposal includes building a 2.5% reserve.  It therefore appears unlikely other cuts will be restored, including planned layoffs of classified employees, adminstrators, and transportation personnel.

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    Today OC Family Magazine announced its 2008 list of “Shining Students.”  Brian Wanyoike, a senior at Mission Viejo High, was one of the 21 honorees.

    For 10 years OC Family has recognized outstanding high school seniors. Hundreds of nominations were received and 21 seniors were selected. The students selected were academic performers, talented, well-rounded and highly motivated.

    Brian plans to attend Standford University and major in public policy.  Following is his bio which impressed judges for the OC Family Magazine:

Not wanting to be defined by his race or economic background, Brian Wanyoike has built upon his parents’ resolve that education would be the priority in his life when they moved to Orange County 16 years ago.
   
Brian, a self-described “information junkie,” has since traveled to London, Nairobi and Mombasa, and feeds his thirst for knowledge by reading the L.A. Times daily, as well as numerous periodicals and books written by acclaimed journalists and politicians.
      
In addition to his 4.45 GPA and being named a 2008 National Achievement Scholarship Finalist, ASB president and an International Baccalaureate Full Diploma candidate, Brian has excelled in film, tennis, cross country, Mock Trial, Academic Decathlon, CSF, Young Entrepreneurs and the Environmental Club.
     
Currently on the board of directors for the California Association of Student Councils, he plans to become a lawyer, but his diverse interests may take him in a new direction. He sees himself involved with government in the future.

    “I am impressed at how smart and accomplished these students already are,” says OC Family magazine Editor Lynn Armitage. “It’s reassuring to all parents that instilling good values in our children, as well as teaching them the importance of good grades and developing a strong community spirit, will pay off dividends in the long run.”

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    A pet owner claims a Mission Viejo Animal Control Officer “entered [her Laguna Niguel residence] without a warrant, brutally beat her, threatened her husband, unlawfully took their dog, and unlawfully arrested her for resisting arrest.”  She is seeking damages for physical, psychological and emotional damages; and contends it is false that her dog bit a woman.

    The OC District Attorney filed charges against the pet owner for assaulting the officer and unlawfully obstructing the officer in the performance of his duties.

    The Sheriff’s Deputy alleges in his report: a third-party female victim mistakenly entered the gated back yard of the pet owner, which was next door to a friend’s house she was seeking.  Three sheepdogs bolted out of the house, and one of the dogs bit her on the arm and buttocks.  She ran out of the yard, bleeding profusely from her arm.  Paramedics treated the woman and referred her to the hospital.  The Animal Control Officer approached the house to quarantine the dog, but the pet owners didn’t cooperate.  The female pet owner pushed the Animal Control Officer in the torso with both hands.  Deputies restrained the owner, placing her on the ground and using handcuffs.  She refused to cooperate in walking to the deputies’ vehicle.

    Next week the MV City Council will deny the pet owner’s claim and refer the matter to its Joint Powers Insurance agency for review.

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    At its last meeting the MV City Council endorsed Proposition 98 to curtail eminent domain by government agencies.  At the same time it rejected Prop 99, a strategic alternative designed by groups who want to maintain eminent domain powers.

    The Council determined Prop 98 “provides absolute private property rights protections for ALL property, including small businesses, houses of worship, family farms and investment properties from eminent domain seizers [seeking] to give [that property] to another private party when the owner does not wish to sell, and [Prop 98] does not preclude eminent domain takings for valid public uses such as roads, schools or water projects, or health and safety concerns.

    It also noted the “State’s independent Legislative Analyst has said that Proposition 99 is not likely to significantly alter current government land acquisition practices.”

    The resolution was introduced by John Paul Ledesma and passed unanimously.

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